Barricaded Person/Hostage Situation


A barricaded person is one who isolates himself/herself in a closed area and makes demand with the threat of harm to self or others. A hostage situation exists when a person or persons holds others against their will. This person may claim to have weapons or other implements of violence, such as explosives, and threaten to use them. 

Strategies for Survival

  • At the initial stage, if possible, leave the area or seek cover and concealment quickly. If it is not possible to leave or hide, obey the demands of the barricaded person.
  • Do not confront or try to reason with a barricaded or intended barricaded person, regardless of any training or expertise (e.g., counseling, psychology, etc.). Only law enforcement-trained crisis negotiators should negotiate with such an individual.
  • Do not initiate any communication with the barricaded person.
  • Stay calm. Model calmness and a reasonable attitude for others to see and emulate. This professional bearing may influence the barricaded person as well.
  • Cooperate with all demands of the barricaded person.
  • Be mentally prepared for a lengthy situation.
  • Do not cry, whine, or whimper. These traits are irritating and may feed or reinforce the barricaded person’s feeling of power, encouraging more aggression.
  • Do not be a hero. Do not do anything to stand out or be noticed individually.
  • Do not stare. When being addressed by the barricaded person or when speaking to him/her, maintain eye contact. Good eye contact establishes rapport. Staring, however, may appear threatening.
  • Remove all indications of authority. At the outset, remove badges, desk plates, etc., indicating titles or levels of authority. Refer to others by name, not title.
  • Never turn your back. It is easier to consider harming an impersonal object than a person with human qualities and features.
  • Be natural. Should the opportunity present itself, provide hints or insights into your life, lifestyle, problems with spouse, children, schools, etc.
  • Never use humor early in a crisis. Should some level of rapport be developed with the barricaded person, humor can be used to personalize the situation. Remember, what is humorous to one person may be offensive to another, and use humor very carefully.
  • Do not use sarcasm.
  • Deceiving, tricking, or lying to the barricaded person is extremely risky for you and others.
  • Be observant. Make mental notes regarding who did certain actions at specific times. These matters may be subject to testimony later. Be discreet, and do not place yourself or others in jeopardy by obviously collecting evidence.
  • When law enforcement enters the premises, they will identify themselves and instruct everyone to go to the floor. Comply immediately with all instructions.
  • Until proper identification takes place, everyone is a suspect. Be prepared to be handcuffed during the initial stage of recovery.

Kirksville and Mesa Emergency Numbers


Security Emergency and non-emergency 
(On Campus) ext. 33
(Off Campus) 1-660-349-9513

Kirksville Police: 
(On Campus) Dial 9-911 
(Off Campus) Dial 911


Security Office: *7 from any campus phone
Switchboard : 0 
Security Phone: 480-341-9075

Security *Emergencies Only*
(On Campus) *7 from any campus phone

Mesa Police: 
(On Campus) Dial 911 
(Off Campus) Dial 911